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Friday, July 21, 2006
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.
I like Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction a great deal. If you read my very thorough bio, then this is not news.
The reason I cite this passage now is because there is conflict going on in the Middle East. If you're over the age of four, then this is not news, either.
Once again, we are faced with another bloodbath as Jews and Palestinians (Hezbollah, specifically) try to slaughter one another because they are both very faithful to their monotheistic beliefs, and genetically, are more similar than any two other ethnic groups on the planet.
Yeah, it doesn't make any sense to me, either.
I went through a full evolution in my opinion on this issue, starting with a common belief that Israel had the right to exist in peace. As I reached my idealistic teenage years, I began to feel that the Palestinians were being treated very unfairly at times by Israel, and was uncomfortable with some of the policies and actions aimed at the Palestinians.
Then, in 2000, US President Bill Clinton invited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat to Camp David to hammer out a deal. Israel, which had been giving away land it had won during four wars, none of which it had started, had already given most of it back by the 1993 Oslo Accords. Barak was prepared to give away additional lands, in order to broker a peace. After two weeks of wrangling, an offer was on the table.
The Israelis offered nearly everything that the Palestinians could realistically hope for. Most of all, sovereignty in Gaza and the West Bank was on the table. In essence, a new Palestinian homeland would be created.
Arafat said no. Furthermore, he made no counter-offer.
And it was at that point that I realized that the Palestinians are not interested in peace. They are not interested in self-government. They did not want to be responsible for their own welfare. All they really want to do is kill Jews. And so they do, with cowardly suicide attacks on civilians.
Last week, two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah. Israel began attacking Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon, and Hezbollah began shooting rockets into Israeli towns in the north. Conventional wisdom puts the hand of Iran, and to a slightly lesser degree, Syria, behind these attacks. These two countries have financed Hezbollah terrorists for decades.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks politely for a ceasefire, and civilians and soldiers are dying in Lebanon and Israel. What should the US do? At this point, we've done nothing as we hope for Israel to destroy as much of the Hezbollah war capacity as possible.
What we ought to do, is send an envoy to Tehran. Yes, the one in Iran.
The US history with Iran over the last quarter century is, to say the least, tense. After the revolution and hostage crisis in 1979, we have been at odds with them, and they with the Great Satan. Not long after the revolution, Iran went to war with Iraq, a costly war for both countries. Iran needed cannon fodder, and urged its citizens to breed with religious fervor, to strengthen the motherland.
Not surprisingly, the people complied. But the war ended in 1988.
Now in Iran, you have the largest percentage of the population under 25 anywhere in the Arab world. This is important for a couple of reasons.
Iran is not isolated the way North Korea is, and Iraq under Saddam was. People use the internet, and have access to satellite television. Furthermore, a sizable Iranian population exists in the West, and the average Iranian understands that while the US may not be perfect, it is also not pure evil.
Young men and women in Iran do not want to pretend to be living in the 13th Century, as the ayatollahs would prefer. The revolution will come, and we should explain it to Iranian president Ahmadenijad thusly:
"We will release frozen Iranian assets. We will end sanctions. We will help you build light-water nuclear reactors, and give you monetary aid. You will stop building nuclear weapons. You will allow U.N. monitoring of your facilities. And you will cut off your ties with Hezbollah. Otherwise, you will, in five years, fifteen at the most, find yourselves on the wrong end of a new revolution."
Language aside, if Iran was spoken to without typical Bush bluster and righteousness, they would come to the table and at least talk about it.
In the mean time, Israel will demolish Hezbollah, and frankly, they can carpet bomb Syria while they are at it. The Syrians were a Soviet puppet for decades, and have supported terrorism for at least as long. That's not going to win Israel any friends, but it will remove a malicious force in the region, and it's not as if Israel is ever going to have an Arab ally, anyway.
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.
All sides. Israel may not be 100% righteous, but when you're using the twisted moral relativism of the Middle East, it comes off pure as Ivory Soap.
posted at 10:55 PM
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